While the first weekend of the Easter holidays traditionally sees motorways all over Britain gridlocked, as families escape for a break, this Easter is going to be a local affair for a second year as Coronavirus restrictions continue.
Wildlife is already showing some signs of benefitting from the huge drop in traffic, but that may be of little comfort when you have small people who need entertaining. Happily, there are still many ways to make the most of the holidays.
From garden campouts to helping your local wildlife, here is our pick of the best simple ideas to keep your kids entertained over the Easter break from home.
When is Easter in 2021?
This year Good Friday is on 2nd April and Easter Sunday is 4th April.
Why does the date of Easter change each year?
The date of Easter changes as a result of the lunar calendar. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon in the period from 22 March to 25 April, and always after the March Spring Equinox.
More related content:
- Easy craft projects and outdoor nature activities for children to do at home
- Virtual escapes: magical woodlands and forests
- Make delicious Easter biscuits
This is the time of year when the sun shines directly on the equator, making night and day nearly equal all over the world. Ecclesiastically fixed on 21st March, the Spring Equinox heralds the beginning of the new season, even though our Gregorian calendars date spring from the beginning of March.
Why do we celebrate Easter Sunday?
The Spring Equinox has traditionally been celebrated as a time of rebirth or renewal, hence why in Christianity, Easter Sunday represents the resurrection of Christ.
When were Easter eggs first invented?
The exquisite Fabergé eggs were invented in 1885 as Easter gifts for the Russian royal family to give to family and friends.
In early 1880s in parts of Germany, eggs were used as birth certificates. They were dyed, inscribed and decorated and could even be used as proof of identity in court.
Where does the name ‘Easter’ come from?
The name Easter is thought to come from the German goddess Eostre, whose name derives from Proto-Germanic meaning ‘dawn’.
What is the meaning of hot cross buns?
As part of a Good Friday tradition, the English would hang a hot cross bun in the house for an entire year to protect the kitchen from fire and ensure perfect bread. In the Christian faith, the eating of a hot cross bun signals the end of Lent and the cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus.
Fun family activities to enjoy at home this Easter
Rosee Woodland shares a selection of fun family activities to enjoy at home this coming Easter weekend.
Go camping, no really!
With all those Easter al fresco trips cancelled, why not camp out in your garden instead? Pitch your tent, snuggle up in sleeping bags, and light a fire. Cotswold Outdoors’ has designated Saturday April 11, the Cotswold Outdoor Easter Camp In. The company is encouraging people to share pictures of their home campsites, camp food and camps views via the hash-tag #campingathome. To find out more, including tips on how to prepare yourself for the day, visit: cotswoldoutdoor.com/outdoors-on-your-doorstep
Help your local wildlife
Spring is a time of activity for garden wildlife and there are many ways to get involved.
For more great nature-themed ideas, including insect identification guides, instructions for building a mini pond, see our easy daily activities for children to do at home.
Build a hedgehog house
Build a hedgehog house of your own to encourage them into your garden.
Dorset based writer Joanna Quinn has recently welcomed home a hedgehog she rescued last year, which was cared for over winter by her local rescue centre Paula’s Wildlife Rescue. Joanna said: “Our hedgehog Robin is thriving, and eating lots of cat food at the moment. We found him in the middle of a road in Dorchester on our way to get a Christmas tree, which is why he’s called Robin.”
Robin, who was a baby when he was rescued, is now making himself at home in a special hedgehog house in the family’s garden, and you can make one yourself from simple materials.
Go on an Easter egg hunt
Even if you haven’t manage to track down a chocolate Easter egg, there’s nothing stopping your little ones enjoying an Easter hunt in the garden if you have some normal eggs that you can blow and then decorate.
Just make sure you save the precious insides for something delicious, such as this asparagus and sweet potato hash with smashed avocado and egg recipe.
Eggs shells can also be used as a handy container for sewing seeds.
Press flowers – or paint with them!
You don’t need a flower press to preserve flowers. A couple of heavy books will do the trick! Lay the flowers between two sheets of absorbent paper – coffee filters and newspaper both work well – and then insert between the pages of the book and lay some more on top.
Try bird watching from your window
If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, why not join the Self Isolating Bird Club? This new Facebook group was set up by Springwatch presenter Chris Packham to boost birdwatching during the lock down. Members have set up mini cameras in nest boxes and on bird feeders to capture the busy spring season. There is a daily morning live feed, which attracts more than 500,000 viewers.
Sow salad and vegetable seeds for summer
Whether you’ve got several acres, or a window box, now is a good time to sow some seeds . Salad seeds grow very easily and likes a shady spot, or you can get more ambitious, with tomatoes and courgettes – both will also grow well indoors in a sunny spot with plenty of ventilation.
Compost has been in short supply recently, but you can re-use old compost, topped up with plant food for hungrier crops. Sieve it first to take out old roots, weeds and any unwanted beasties.
See some baby animals being fed or stream a wild animal feed
If you have a city farm near you, check their website or Facebook page as they may be showing footage. Bath City Farm has been streaming live feeds on Saturdays when volunteers feed the baby animals.
Here’s Pam the pig eating some greens in slow motion🌱Posted by Bath City Farm on Sunday, April 5, 2020
For a wilder experience, the Wildlife Trusts have live feeds of many interesting animals all over the country. Watch an osprey nest in Cumbria or pipstrelle bats in Essex. You find a full list of Wildlife Trust webcams, via wildlifetrusts.org/webcam
Best Easter treat recipes
Sweet, crumbly and heavenly light, these moreish macaroons are easy to bake for an Easter gathering.
Although it sounds ambitious, making chocolate Easter eggs is remarkably simple. With oodles of chocolate involved, it is the ideal way to spend a cosy evening in the run up to Easter. All you need is an egg mould and 250g of chocolate.
The meringue’s crunchiness is mixed with the zest of lemon and is finished with the topping of whipped cream, creating a mouth watering taste that should not be missed.
Boiling an egg should be so simple – yet so often something goes wrong. Follow Claire Thomson’s foolproof method.
Easter decoration ideas
An Easter Tree is a wonderful addition to your home this spring. Hang colourful painted eggs from branches on your kitchen table.
Use natural dyes and materials to make Easter Eggs with a difference.